This Raspberry-Oriented Age

Two new ways to eat raspberries: Hot Pepper Raspberry Preserves, an excellent raspberry jam with a sneaky hotness, good with crackers and cream cheese, or more daringly with roast duck; and Raspberry Salsa, like a semisweet, oddly fragrant hot tomato sauce. They're available at Bristol Farms, Honey Baked Hams and Gelson's (Encino), among other places, or from Rothschild Berry Farm, P.O. Box 311, Urbana, Ohio 43078--the preserves at about $5.45/11 ounces and the salsa at $4.85/8 ounces.

The Battle of the Coffee Table Books

The jacket of Lorenza de' Medici's "Tuscany the Beautiful Cookbook" (Collins Publishers: San Francisco) says she traces her ancestry back to Renaissance big shot Lorenzo de' Medici. Meanwhile, "Giuliano Bugiallo's Foods of Tuscany" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang: New York) pointedly declares that no living Medici is related to Lorenzo.

Tough Potatoes

A single gene limits the starch-making ability of a potato cell, say researchers at Michigan State University and Monsanto Co. So they spliced in a starch-making gene copied from the common intestinal bacterium E. coli, making potatoes with 60% more starch per unit of weight. The Washington Post reports that these denser potatoes would be more resistant to damage in harvesting and shipping and they'd also absorb less cooking oil when fried.

A Bag of Eggs

Simply Eggs have only 20% of the cholesterol of regular eggs--the rest has been removed by a centrifuge process. (This means they're oddly packaged: A one-pound box contains two plastic cartons of liquid whites and yolks--use within three days of opening.) They've also been flash-pasteurized, zapping any salmonella or listeria bacteria. Best of all, they actually taste like eggs and, unlike egg substitutes, they make great scrambled eggs, hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise and are perfect for baking. Now in supermarket refrigerator cases. For more information call (800) 245-5073 between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Hi, I'm Barney, and I'll Be Your Dinner. You Got a Problem With That?

The largest barnacle in the world is Balanus nubilus , native to the Pacific Northwest, which can reach a diameter of nearly a foot. According to Seafood Leader, it's supposed to be tasty too.

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